Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Vivienne Ong- My 3rd sister

Meat eater turned vegetarian during early secondary school years. Currently pursuing her degree in business admin in China, adamant to stay vegetarian even though there is lack of vegetarian food within and outside her university. U mates and friends have been supportive including my 2nd sis Vicky who is studying in Taiwan and constantly supplies her with instant vegetarian noodles.

Irony is, Vicky(she is a meat eater) resides in an island which is a food haven for vegetarians whereas Vivienne has to stay tough in China, land rising with economic powers that eats almost all kind of animals.

My youngest siblings- Hoeng Meng and Zhen Ni

Both vegetarians from birth, healthy and michievious!
Hoeng Meng is going to be 6 while Zhen Ni is 10 this year.

Why Go Organic? 10 reasons to do so.........

1 : Protect Future Generations

"We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children"- Lester Brown

The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. The food choices you make now will impact your child's health in the future. Protect future generations - simply go organic.

2. Prevent Soil Erosion

The Soil Conservation service estimated that more than 3 billion tons of topsoil are eroded from United States croplands each year. This means that it is being built up naturally. Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming. But in some conventional farming the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, American farms are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history. Prevent soil erosion -- simply go organic.

3. Protect Water Quality

Water makes up two-thirds of our body mass and covers three-fourths of the planet. Despite its importance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated pesticides -- some cancer causing -- contaminate the ground water in 38 states in America. Polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country's population. Protect water quality -- simply go organic.

4. Save Energy

American farms have changed drastically in the last three generations, from family-based small businesses dependent on human energy to large-scale factory farms highly dependent on fossil fuels. Modern farming uses more petroleum than any other single industry, consuming 12 percent of the county's total energy supply. More energy is now used to produce fertilizers than to till, cultivate and harvest all the crops in the Unites States. Organic farming is still mainly based on labor intensive practices such as weeding by hand and using green manures and crop covers rather than synthetic fertilizers to build up soil. Organic produce also tends to travel fewer miles from field to table. Save energy-- simply go organic.

5. Keep Chemicals Off Your Plate

Many pesticides approved for use by the EPA were registered long before extensive research linking these chemicals to cancer and other diseases had been established. Now the EPA considers that 60 percent of all herbicides. 90 percent of all fungicides and 30 percent of all insecticides are carcinogenic. A 1987 National Academy of Sciences report estimated that pesticides might cause an extra 1.4 million cancer cases among Americans over their lifetimes. The bottom line is that pesticides are poisons designed to kill living organisms and can also be harmful to humans. In addition to cancer, pesticides are implicated in birth defects, nerve damage and genetic mutations. Keep chemicals off your plate -- simply go organic.

6. Protect Farm Worker Health

A National Cancer Institute Study found that farmers exposed to herbicides had a six times greater risk than non-farmers of contracting cancer. In California, reported pesticide poisonings among farm workers have risen an average of 14 percent a year since 1973 and doubled between 1975 and 1985. Field workers suffer the highest risk of occupational illnesses in the state. Farm worker health is also a serious problem in developing nations, where pesticide use can be poorly regulated. An estimated 1 million people are poisoned annally by pesticides. Protect farm workers -- simply go organic.

7. Help Small Farmers

Although more and more large farms are making the conversion to organic practices, most organic farms are small independently owned and operated family farms of less than 100 acres. It is estimated that the Unites States has lost more 650,000 family farms in the past decade. And with the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicting that half the country's farm protection will come from 1 percent of farms by the year 2000, organic farming could be one of the few survival tactics left for many family farms. Help small farmers --simply go organic.

8.Support a True Economy

Although organic foods might seem more expensive than conventional foods; conventional food prices do not reflect hidden costs borne by tax payers, including nearly $74 billion on federal subsidies in 1988. Other hidden costs include pesticide regulation and testing, hazardous waste disposal and clean-up and environmental damage. Author Gary Null says " If·you add in the real environment and social costs of irrigation to a head of lettuce, its price can range between $2 and $3". Support a true economy - simply go organic.

9. Promote Biodiversity

Mono-cropping is the practice of planting large plots of land with the same crop year after year. While this approach tripled farm production between 1950 and 1970, the lack of natural diversity of plant life has left the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients. To replace the nutrients, chemical fertilizers are used, often in increasing amounts. Single crops are also much more susceptible to pests, making farmers more reliant on pesticides. Despite a ten-fold increase in the use of pesticides between 1947 and 1974, crop losses due to insects have doubled -- partly because some insects have become genetically resistant to certain pesticides. Promote biodiversity -- simply go organic.

10. Taste Better Flavour

There's a good reason why many chefs use organic foods in their recipes -- they taste better! Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, which eventually leads to the nourishment of the plant and, ultimately, our palates. Taste better flavour -- simply go organic

This article was excerpted from an article by Sylvia Tawse, marketing coordinator for Alfalfa's Markets, an organic food marketplace, in Boulder and Denver Colorado.

How natural composts are produced?

(Sorry, no translation or subtitles available)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pictures taken in Vision Farm

Raining season marks less vegetables

"Kang fu le" a potent detoxifier, recommended to eat raw as salad or add into your daily juice.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Vision Eco Farm - A visit to an organic farm

Sunday morning. Woke up 5AM. Not my usual routine. But for a good reason mum and I plus my boyfriend W were on our way to Vision Eco Farm, an organic farm started way back in 1996 and situated in Genting Highland. Vision Farm, is one of the several farms that the HO family owns (other farms located in Pajam, Kluang, Lojing Highlands).

Unless you drive a 4 wheel drive, the entrance can be quite tricky. Most of our group left their car on the entrance and walked to the farm. We were lucky, as the earliest to arrive and the ones with pots of food, Miss Ho (Wan Zhen, one of Mr Ho San Zheng's daughter who is in charge of the farm) sent one of her staff to pick us up.

Three foreign workers were already busy washing up utensils (using natural dish washing liquid, of course) for us to use later
When everyone finally arrived, we were grouped together for briefing session on the farm. Questions such as why organic vegetables are more expensive and the importance of eating organic produce arised and Wan Zhen knowing these are the usual questions visitors would post, explained everything before anyone could ask any questions.
Mr Ho started organic farming after he read one report in the 70s that if we do not start re cycling or taking care of our environment, for example, Beijing in China will turn into a desert eventually. I might not find the original report read by Mr Ho, but these are the information I managed to google, below are links that proved what Mr Ho read is happening right now.

Mr Ho also does not believe by not using any pesticides or any form of chemicals he cannot grow any crops . Based on very simple knowledge on organic farming and almost no knowledge on healthy living, he started his organic farming. Vision Eco Farm is the first permanent farm that he started. Right now, Mr Ho is busy travelling, to China or to countries around the south east region starting new farms or imparting his knowledge to the farmers who wants to grow their crops organically.

Vision Eco Farm also does not use organic fertisiliser and pesticides (even approved ones), relying more on the natural compost that mostly made up on garlics, agricultural waste, rice bran, seaweed, cocoa shells etc. This compost are either dug or cover on top of the soil as mulches. They do not believe in killing pest as but look at pest as signs for improvements. Healthier plants attract less pests and they strive to produce healthier plants with higher nutrients.

(the stench of the compost was unbearable, had to coax bf to take this picture for me)

(so attentive...)
While we were all in the farm, Mrs Ho was in the kitchen cooking up a storm, preparing fresh vegetables just plucked from the farm, even stir frying a papaya for us! Yummy!

Before we left, each of us were given a bottle of fresh organic sugarcane water from their farm in Kluang. All day experience plus so much food for only RM12 for adults and RM6 for children.

Organic thosai with vegetable rolls

Mum prepared it for a friend who is having a farewell party. Party was food friendly to vegetarians. Ingredients: Lots of homemade mayonaise saunce, lots of specially concocted plum sauce, lots of alfalfa, carrots, apples, lettuce, seaweed sheets and of course thosai.

With help from Uncle Wong who is expert in wrapping sushi, he was showing us the proper way to ensure the rolls look nice and professional.

Look at those carrots extra crunchy, juicy and sweet...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Plum meal set

  • Plum set meal that she proposed that we come up with for our set lunch or delivery set.

Cooking class Feb 27, 08

Cooking class on how to use plum sauce, plum vinegar and camelia oil.

The instructor actually came from Taiwan, going around organic and health food stores in Malaysia to help spread the benefits of plum.

We made:-

1. Salads
2. Sandwich using red moss, camelia oil, plum spread, alfalfa, lettuce etc
3. Fruit and vege juices with plum vinegar.

Note: Simple detox drink the morning. Some green tea powder, 1 teaspoon of molasses syrup, 1 teaspoon of plum vinegar. Drink it the first thing in the morning. Great for stimulating your bowel movements.

Turmeric Rice

One of my favourite dish in the shop.

Mushrooms herbal soup

Mushrooms herbal soup
("Bak kut teh")
A recipe converted from my aunt who used to sell real bak kut teh in Kepong.
Used to be spicier, but to those organic lovers too spicy spoil the palate, so the result is a toned down version to suit everyone including children.

(my aunt)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Detox meal

Daily meals available in
Green Bamboo Organic V Mart

Detox set meal

What do you get?
- 2 dishes, brown rice, salad, fruits and sweet potatoes

Perfect for those:
- who are trying to eat more healthily
- compkments detox plans and programme
- complements weight management programme

Note: We use at least 5 colours in the detox meal. 5 colours a day with wide varieties of vitamins and minerals keep your health at check.

Direction: For best results, start with the salad and fruits, then the two dishes and rice and end with the sweet potatoes.